Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (10-6, 3.67).
Pitching: LHP Scott Kazmir (4-6, 6.69).
TIME/TV: 7:10, MY9.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees have won 10 of 11 and 23 of their last 29. At 61-38, they are one game behind the Dodgers for the best record in baseball. They lead the Red Sox by 2.5 games and the Rays by 7.5.
RAZING THE RAYS: The Yankees are 16-11 against the Rays the last two seasons.
SERIES STEAK: A win tonight would give the Yankees victories in nine of their last 10 series.
CC STATS: Casten Charles is 3-1, 2.92 in his last four starts. He is 2-0 since the break, allowing three earned runs over 14 innings. The big lefty is 7-1, 2.63 in 12 career starts against the Rays. He took a no-decision (can you take a no-decision?) against them on June 6, allowing five runs in eight innings in what turned out to be a 9-7 loss at the Stadium.
THEIR CC IS PRETTY GOOD, TOO: Carl Crawford leads the majors with 48 steals. His theft last night was No. 350 for his career. Whether you’re a Yankee fan or not, that guy is fun to watch play.
GOOD TIMING: Now that he’s the center fielder for a while, Melky Cabrera is heating up. He is 7 of 12 with five walks in his last four games.
ROWDY ON THE ROAD: The Yankees have won nine of their last 12 away from the Stadium.
TAMPA’S TERROR: Robinson Cano is a career .324 hitter against the Rays.
CAPTAIN’S CORNER: Derek Jeter has hit safely in seven straight. He is 9 of 18 in his last four games with six RBI and five runs scored. Jeter is fifth in the AL at .325. He is fifth in OPB at .402.
GRAND NIGHT FOR TEX: Tonight will be the 1,000th career game for Mark Teixeira.
THEY’RE HOT: Teixeira is 8 of 22 … Jorge Posada is 8 of 22 with five extra-base hits and six RBI.
MINOR MATTERS: Low Single-A Charleston was no-hit by West Virginia’s Hunter Strickland and Diego Moreno, Strickland is one of the prospects the Pirates got back from Boston for Adam LaRoche.
ON THE iPOD RIGHT NOW: Lucky Man by The Verve.
Back later with much more.
UPDATE, 4:18 p.m.: Chien-Ming Wang is still waiting to see Dr. Andrews. No update yet.
Also no roster move today it seems.
UPDATE, 5:41 p.m.: Alfredo Aceves is down again today. It was decided to give him three days off because he was “tired” according to Girardi. The manager claimed nothing was physically wrong with Aceves. But it’s certainly something that bears watching.
Until the bullpen is up to speed, which could be tomorrow, they don’t want to make a move for an outfielder. Brian Cashman is also keeping his eyes open for a CF via trade.
Damaso Marte will throw two innings tonight for Scranton. Then he could get two days off before going back-to-back days. In other words, you won’t be seeing him back in the big leagues any time soon.
UPDATE, 6:41 p.m.: Per Chad Jennings and his must-read blog, here is the Scranton lineup tonight:
Kevin Russo, 2B
Ramiro Pena, SS
Austin Jackson, CF
Shelley Duncan, RF
Juan Miranda, 1B
Yurendell de Caster, 3B
John Rodriguez, DH
Colin Curtis, LF
Chris Stewart, C
Josh Towers, RHP
That’s two days in a row not in CF for Pena. All the usual suspects are playing, so no clues there.
UPDATE, 7:09 p.m.: We’re underway here at The Trop. CC vs. Kazmir. Good matchup.
UPDATE, 7:13 p.m.: Great pitch by Kazmir to get Jeter looking. But Jeter saw 10 pitches.
UPDATE, 7:23 p.m.: That is some very nice baseball right there. Cano tracks down a ball behind the bag, flips it to Jeter and he makes the pivot fast enough to get Crawford with Tex making a sprawling grab at first. How much better is this team in the field this season?
UPDATE, 7:36 p.m.: OK, so I take that back.
UPDATE, 7:41 p.m.: More good stuff from Chad on his blog regarding assorted injured prospects.
UPDATE, 8:07 p.m.: Like I said, an outstanding defensive team.
What a mess this is so far. Two errors, CC getting rocked, Rays lead 3-0.
Meanwhile the Rays just had their cleanup hitter bunt with a 3-0 lead.
UPDATE, 8:13 p.m.: And the Rays get what they deserve for bunting their cleanup hitter — no run. That could come back to bite them.
UPDATE, 8:17 p.m.: Tex is a heck of a base-runner. Almost always makes the right decision.
UPDATE, 8:48 p.m.: CC seemed to have his act together before that home run. As for Evan Longoria, he had his girlfriend at the All-Star Game press conference last year and she was a younger, hotter version of Jennifer Love Hewitt. So the home run is just a bonus.
UPDATE, 8:58 p.m.: Damaso Marte just allowed two homers for Scranton. Seems to be in mid-season form.
UPDATE, 9:11 p.m.: Yet another defensive misplay. They need to get an outfielder here now. It’s bad enough that the Yankees need to leave either Swisher of Damon in the outfield late in games. Leaving both of them in invites disaster.
It’s 6-1 Rays as the Yankees are experiencing a rare train-wreck game. Cue the “the season is over” commenters on the blog.
UPDATE, 9:55 p.m.: That’s it for a sloppy game. Back later with reaction and an update on Chien-Ming Wang